Work experience, married with higher education, is an asset companies in Mansfield and Ashfield are willing to pay for.
New data from the Department for Education reveals graduates from English universities with five years of experience working in Ashfield earned a median salary of £24,100 in 2016-17 - 29 per cent more than those in the first year of work.
In Mansfield, the median salary for the same period was £23,500 - a rise of 23 per cent.
The median salary is the middle point within a list of graduate salaries, and is a measure used to exclude extreme values.
The Department for Education only has data for institutions in England.
This shows that across East Midlands, people who graduated from universities in the North East of England earned the most, with earnings of £27,500 five years after finishing their degrees.
At the other end of the spectrum were graduates from universities in the East Midlands, earning £23,000 as a median salary.
Medicine graduates have the highest salary five years after completing their courses – £46,600 median.
Professionals graduating with humanities and creative arts and design degrees earned just £20,600 five years after graduation.
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Chris Skidmore MP, the universities minister, said he was delighted that earnings had continued to increase for recent graduates.
He said: "We want students and their parents to have the best possible information about higher education.
"This data is an invaluable tool to help prospective students make the right choice and know what to expect from the course they choose".
In Mansfield, 11 per cent of graduates from universities in England had no sustained employment and were not studying five years after finishing university.
In Ashfield, the figure was eight per cent.
The HMRC defines sustained employment as being employed for at least one day in at least ten of the 12 months of a year.
Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the Office for Students, said: "It is good to see that, in general, graduate earnings continue to rise – although gaps remain between more and less disadvantaged groups.
"Financial outcomes are just one of the considerations for students when choosing a degree subject, as students will make career choices not solely based on a likely graduate salary."